Most Innovative New Product Awards: Software, Digital Media, & Mobile Apps Finalists

Contributor: Raffaella Giampaolo, Marketing Manager at CONNECT

Software, Digital Media, and Mobile Apps

Almost every business has gone digital within the last several years. Digital media is a powerful tool; when used correctly it can lead to a level of positive ROI considered unthinkable only a few years ago. Some of the new pioneers in digital media are based right here in San Diego, and we are happy to name the finalists in the Software, Digital Media, and Mobile Apps category for the Most Innovative New Product Awards here:

Guru - The San Diego Museum of Art App

With Guru's San Diego Museum of Art app you can hear fascinating stories behind the art through custom audio tours, behind-the-scenes videos, augmented reality and more! Powered by Guru, the app features beacon-enabled technology that interacts with smartphones to show location-specific content as visitors move through the galleries. From historical significance to entertaining factoids, the app provides insight and perspective in the palm of your hand. We had the pleasure of talking with the Guru team and they answered a few questions here: 

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

We've received a handful of emails and calls from unlikely app users raving about their experience at the museum because of our app. Users that have physical handicaps that prevent them from walking around for long periods of time were able to sit, look at the art and read the interesting text in the app from the bench. Users that struggle to read the wall text were able to access the audio for the works of art they were interested in. And even users who don't love art generally enjoyed our tone and delivery. We feel very proud that we were able to impact their experience in such a special way. 

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

There is a stigma in the art world that one must come from it to speak about it. Although we all appreciate art, artists and those who have dedicated their careers to learning about it; we knew that we could find a way to talk about art so that visitors of every age and education level could still learn and be entertained. It was an uphill battle with the curatorial  and education team at the museum initially. But after many months of collaboration we were able to hit a stride that we were both happy with. And now 1 year later we both have a product that we are thrilled with and proud to have collaborated on. 

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

It means that we are doing something right! Although we appreciate the positive user reviews we are honored to be recognized in a very saturated market for our product with such a great organization. 

Nanome, Inc. - Nano VR

Nanome is a software company that develops next generation advanced research tools for scientists and engineers. Nano VR is Nanome’s Scientific Research platform. This suite includes nano-one, a chemical modeling VR application and Calc Flow, a Vector Analysis VR application. Nanome offers Software Services for University and Life Science Researchers. The CEO and Founder of Nanome, Steven McCloskey, joined us to answer a few questions here: 

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Our biggest achievement to date has been connecting people from biotech research, academic research, and VR early adopters through our software platform. We are seeing a lot of common interests among users in distant markets which helps us to build toward a better united platform to bridge the gap between what professionals and enthusiasts can do with our platform.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Virtual reality design and making our experiences feel good is the biggest challenge right now. Nested drop down menus and widgets has driven most computer modeling applications, however in VR we are not afforded the same limitations that proliferated that interface choice. We are now faced with a nearly infinite range of control schemes and user interface options. On top of this, there are few established best practices for creating comfortable experience, and even that seems to be subject to change with every new videogame or hardware release.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Being a finalist for the MIP award means that we're producing quality products that reflect well on the community around us in San Diego and that we have the support back from the community to help us grow within our innovation ecosystem. 

South Doctors, Inc. - SouthDoctors 

SouthDoctors is a medical tourism platform that connects US patients with verified doctors in Latin America. This San Diego-based startup has launched regionally in Mexico, where patients can save up to 75% on high-quality medical care. Patients also gain access to potentially life saving medical treatments not yet available in the US. South Doctors, Inc. CEO, Summer Rogers, joined us to answer a few questions here: 

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

It’s amazing to sit and talk with a patient and see the real world impact a small startup like SouthDoctors can have on the life of another human being.  I would say our greatest achievement (so far!) has been our ability to connect ROI with real healthcare innovation.  US Healthcare is the most expensive in the world.  Not the best; the most expensive!! At SouthDoctors, we get to have this unique opportunity to help connect US Patients with verified doctors in Mexico every day.  Our ability to not only save people money on high-quality care, but also in some cases, provide access to potentially life-saving medical procedures --- is what drives each of us both personally and professionally at SouthDoctors

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

We believe that medical tourism is the future of healthcare. However, many folks don’t know that you can save up to 70% compared to US prices, that many doctors are actually trained in the US, and that some doctors/dentists even accept US insurance.  SouthDoctors makes the whole medical tourism process simple and convenient.  US patients have options. The biggest obstacle we face is awareness.  We want even more people to know that with SouthDoctors, now anyone and everyone can benefit from medical tourism.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you? 

For us, the MIP Award represents a greater acknowledgement of support for bi-national and cross-border companies like SouthDoctors.  San Diego serves as an innovation hub not only regionally, but also on a global scale. Mayors from both sides of the border, as well as stakeholders from both the public and private sectors are forming collaborations to support new innovation across the Cali-Baja mega region (Southern California + State of Baja).  Partners in Latin America, investors in Silicon Valley, and local and state governments look at us as an example of the new innovation, value and job creation that can come from bi-national partnerships and operations.  We’re honored and grateful for CONNECT’s recognition and support.

For more information on the 2016 Most Innovative New Product Awards click here. 

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